NOB HILL--I was so happy to see the Tribune picked up the El Vado story Wednesday afternoon. The Journal had a short piece on it this morning, Thursday. My original story is below...under Monday. I guess what tempers my happiness at seeing the issue put before more people is that the same day the Tribune ran its El Vado story, they ran a page-length column by Steve Lawrence titled, "BLOG SLOP."
Under that moronic headline was this: "Internet hangouts can be lively, but they're not credible." Somebody should have told their news department before they spent all that time following up on my story.
What was SL's point? Oh, that blogs don't have to pass "through a writer and several editors, all of whom are concerned with fairness, accuracy and timeliness." No, I am not making this up. And No, I am not going to cite the problems of America's Newspaper of Record. In fact, I can't even link you to the column because it is not on their website. But Steve, it seems, has an uneasy feeling that people don't read books or newspapers anymore.
I hear that. It is especially difficult to read SL's long-winded (but ultimately lazy) assessment of the state of the printed word. BLOG SLOP goes on for about 600 words and 15 paragraphs without mentioning a single blog. Not one. It is as if he had a deadline, three cups of coffee, and a load on angst. He had to dump it somewhere. Talk about "slop." It was a rant that actually sounded like a few bloggers I've read...you know the rants...and when you get down to the time they were posted it is usually about 3:00 A.M.
Maybe he needs a long vacation. I called Tribune Editor Phil Casaus today, got his machine and left my number. I wonder if he'd be interested in what a blogger thinks we have to contribute to public discourse. I do know I am not the only writer to take offense at Lawrence's column; heavy-hitters Mark Justice Hinton and John Fleck have also posted on this.
Meanwhile, both papers seem to miss what I consider to be the most important aspect of that El Vado piece: the purpose of the enormous price hike. After all, the price went from either $670,000 or $1,300,000...depending, to the present price of $3,250,000 in 3 months. I have to believe that the owner, Richard Gonzales, is looking to having the city somehow pick up the bill...or at least he wants a 7 figure amount under discussion. Stay tuned on this one.